Readers of journalism, dependent on a daily diet of current news expect objectivity, clarity and at least some degree of intelligence. This did not happen in a recent piece printed in Globes, an Israeli news outlet. The Globes author, Gali Weinreb, made the mistake of trying to interpret upcoming clinical trial information surrounding one of the hottest biotech firms in her nation - Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI) - who just recently revealed astounding news of efficacy in muscle injury after hip surgery, with their PLX-PAD cells showing 500% improvement over placebo in the change of maximal contraction force of the gluteal muscle.
From an article posted last Sunday, Ms. Weinreb failed to grasp the important fact that no one in the cell therapy industry but Pluristem can manufacture product at such low cost while keeping up quality and securing regulatory blessing. This will go a long way toward future commercialization. An uncomplimentary comparison between Pluristem and its Australian competitor Mesoblast, Ltd. is not warranted, as Ms. Weinreb likes to think, because in reality the acquisition of stem cells by both companies vastly differs, favoring Pluristem. Their patents for harvesting cells, younger and more vigorous and granted in Mesoblast's own backyard, should result in proof that Pluristem technology is superior.
Ms. Weinreb then makes the point that Pluristem's early phase muscle injury studies showing non-toxicity are not so critical when in reality they are. And yes, they are "interesting", and then some. Regulators view safety data very carefully. It is essential to continuing along a clinical path.
Volatility in biotech shares is not a reason to point fingers. Nor is the fact that companies may want to reach out to the public with results of a clinical study. This is what they do. Why Ms. Weinreb cannot grasp that is beyond logic, if she indeed covers her journalistic subjects with any degree of diligence and professional concern.
Pluristem's CEO, Zami Aberman, had the courage to state that if results of the muscle injury study went south, so would other trials. This did not happen. Efficacy was shown and millions of people will benefit. Contrary to Ms. Weinreb's misguided musings, Pluristem will give to the world not just interesting but also valuable work that has the ability to change the course of medicine.
Disclosure: I am long PSTI, .